Assessing a Stem Cell Therapy for Intra-articular Lesions in Horses

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For questions and more information about this study, please contact the team using the information below.
Study coordinator
Name - Dr. Larry Galuppo
Email -
Phone - (530) 752-1393

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"Help us find a treatment for intra-articular lesions in horses using stem cells!"
Animal: Horses & Ponies
Keywords: intra-articular lesions, equine, horse, stem cell, stem cell therapy, MSC, autologous
Type: Stem Cell Study
50 Participants
Background and purpose
Intra articular disorders in horses remain as a major source of lameness and decrease performance. Conventional treatments are often long and expensive with less than optimal results and failure to return to a previous level of performance in the majority of cases. When intra articular lesions heal, scar tissue cannot be as functional as the original tissues, therefore the development of methods for regenerating tissue is our goal for an efficacious treatment. The purpose of this study is to assess stem cell therapy as a potential treatment for intra-articular lesions. The clinical use of stem cells is still in its early stages, and determination of the ideal dose to administer these cells is worth further investigation.
What happens in this study

If you agree to let your horse participate in this study, the following will happen:

  • A brief lameness exam
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans of the affected joint before first injection, immediately following the injections and then six months after completion of the injections.
  • Joint fluid collection from the affected joint
  • Collection of fat (adipose) tissue if your horse is older than 15 years or bone marrow if your horse is younger than 15years.
  • Injection of either a high or low dose of stem cells into the affected joint while under sedation

Depending on the degree and stage of the injury, a UC Davis veterinarian will either request that you to bring your horse to the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital (VMTH) or a UC Davis veterinarian from the research team will go to your location and administer the stem cells treatment.

Pet owner responsibilities

If you allow your horse to participate in this study, you will be responsible for bringing the horse to the clinic or agreed upon location for the injections, and informing the UC Davis researchers if your horse of any adverse effects for the 10 days following each injection.

Participation requirements

We are looking for horses diagnosed with intra-articular lesions. Please have your veterinarian contact Dr. Galuppo to see if your horse will qualify.

If you agree to participate in this study, we offer up to 30% discount on diagnostic studies (MRI, Ultrasound, and Laboratory services) associated with the administration of MSCs in your horse.
Study duration and period
Three treatments with 2 to 3 weeks in between will be performed with an MRI 6 months after the completion of injections.
Recruitment period
From April 14, 2016
UC Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital
1 Garrod Drive
Large Animal Clinic - Equine Surgery and Lameness
Davis, CA 95616
Dr. Larry Galuppo

Have any questions or want to learn more? Leave your contact details below and the research team will reach out to you.


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